It recently came to light that criminals are becoming more cunning in their plans to gull unsuspecting ATM-users out of their funds. A new device has been discovered (see accompanying images and descriptions) which have been found in shopping centres, petrol stations and convenience stores all over JHB.

Please be aware of these and do not consider this to be something you will not be a victim of. Chances are, they may already have your details without you even knowing.

These devices you see here are used to scan magstrip details directly from your ATM card. Simultaneously, while your magstrip is being read, a camera located in the side of the “Skimmer” is viewing every key you push on the keypad. This means that not only do criminals have your card information, they also have your PIN number, making it simple to transfer your details to any card with a magstrip (Edgars card, expired bank cards, Clicks card, etc) and draw funds from an ATM without your knowledge. Please make your friends and family aware of these devices. With an increase of awareness you may not become a victim.

Disguised to seamlessly look like part of an ATM, “skimmers” are devices installed by thieves to surreptitiously swipe your credit and debit-card information. How can you tell whether an ATM may have a skimmer installed? And what can you do at an ATM to protect your information? If you look at one of these skimmers, they look like part of the machine. Before swiping your debit, cheque or credit card, wiggle the protruding slot in which you slide your card, thieves often install skimmers on top of the ATM’s actual slot and secure the skimmer with adhesive. Check the device and wiggle it to see if it’s loose or if it falls off. Look for remnants or residue of double-sided tape. Anything that looks unusual, check it out. When you type in your PIN on the machine, cover it up so no one can see it, because some have cameras that arees reading or viewing your PIN as you enter it. Finally, if you’re not sure, just don’t use the machine!

A card skimming device can also be attached to an ATM machine. However, despite their detailed design, the devices rely on double-sided adhesive and can come loose. ATM users are advised to check any machine before they use it. If the keypad is raised above the surface of the desk at the ATM, it may be that thieves have installed a keypad over the existing one. Users are also advised to use only newer ATMs with a green plastic tab protruding from machine next to the slot. The tab makes it much more difficult for a skimmer to be installed. – (Security Web Team)